2nd St. Bar & Grill opens Friday

Karen Danner
Home at last: Tim and Shelly Berger, owners of 2nd St. Bar & Grill, will welcome their first customers Friday following a Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Berger family has finally come home, and they plan to stay there for a long time.

Tim Berger, his wife, Shelly, and their 13-year-old son, Robert, an eighth grader at Chillicothe Junior High, are settling into the Chillicothe community, and their names will become much more well-known when their new business venture opens.

Tim and Shelly’s 2nd St. Bar & Grill, at 1046 N. Second St., opens at 11 a.m. Friday for business.

The Bergers purchased the former Bailey’s Pub from Ted Bailey, who now resides in Morton with his new wife.

“We love Chillicothe” said Berger. “We’ve been camping here for the last three years, and we ended up falling in love with Chillicothe. Everyone is so nice.”

The Bergers are not new to the restaurant business. They owned the Delavan Steak House for the last five years and also had Chateau on the Lake.

Berger said he previously owned a bar in Pekin for eight years. But his real learning about the business happened at Chateau, where he worked from ages 14-27.

Now that the couple has sold all their other businesses, Chillicothe is the end of the road.

“This is my last stop before I retire,” said Berger. “I plan on being here a long time. We’re here full-time and living in Chillicothe.”

At 2nd St. Bar & Grill, almost the entire interior has changed in one form or another.

In the bar area, patrons will notice a completely overhauled and remodeled area, with a new bar top.

The walls have been cleaned and painted, new fixtures and all-new flat screen TVs added and new flooring, both tile and carpeting. Even the bar stools are brand new.

The dining room has been scoured from top to bottom and painted, with new solid oak booths ready for customer seating.

Even the kitchen has been completely stripped and redone in order to modernize and update.

There, Berger will do all the cooking for his customers.

Berger said prices range from $5.95 to about $15.95, covering steaks, seafood, chicken, pasta, fish and freshly ground beef patty burgers every day.

Specialty dishes are turtle, blue gill, prime rib, lobster (deep fried or broiled) and ribeye steaks.

One of the most welcome additions is the salad bar in the dining area, which will provide eight different homemade salads, as well as lettuce with all the trimmings and dressings.

Each dinner purchased includes salad bar, soup and dessert. The soups will vary week to week, and customers can order just salad bar.

Carry-out service is also available by calling 274-3130.

Lunch is served starting at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and dinner hours are 4-10 p.m.

Exceptions to the dinner hour would be made depending on Illinois Valley Central District 321

sports teams.

Berger himself played baseball at Pekin, and, in addition to sports’ teams, he also is excited about hosting the annual Rescue 33 Labor Day breakfast.

“Absolutely, 100 percent, we support Rescue 33,” he said. “Anything they need, they have it.”

Berger said the kitchen will be open later on game nights.

On Sundays, family style dining reigns from 4-11 p.m., although there will also be open menu for those who choose.

Berger said they also do weddings, birthday parties, anniversary parties, etc., in-house.

About 90 percent of former Bailey’s Pub employees are being rehired, he said.

While the Bergers are busy getting to know even more Chillicotheans, some of the waitresses will already be familiar faces.

“Our main goal is food quality, service and cleanliness,” said Berger. “We try never to falter on these. My wife and I are here seven days a week, from open to close.”

Even though the 2nd St. Bar & Grill is nearly ready for customers, the Bergers will not be able to forego their 16-hour work days.

As customers file in to get a sample of the cuisine at Chillicothe’s newest restaurant, the Bergers will no doubt make even more friends.

“In our three years in Chillicothe so far, we’ve met a lot of friends,” said Berger.

“We hope to make a lot more friends and get involved with the community. We’re really family oriented, and our goal is to make this a nice family establishment with great food.”

Now that opening is just a couple days away, Berger said he and his wife are ready.

“I’m so proud of the way this place looks,” he said. “I think it’s a warm atmosphere in here.”